What Is a Lead Back Office Dental Assistant?

When on the topic of dental assistants, we have to realize that there is more than one type. Depending on their qualifications, dental assistants can classify as front office or back office. Front office dental assistants have a more administrative role, greeting patients, scheduling appointments, dealing with paperwork, insurance claims, etc. Back office dental assistants, on the other side, have a more clinical function within a dental office, aiding dentists in performing treatments, handling the equipment, sanitizing the exam room, etc.

Regardless of their duties and responsibilities, both the front and the back are integral parts of the dental office, each playing a vital role in the success and expansion of the office. That said, what is a Lead Back Office Dental Assistant, what are their functions and duties, and what are the opportunities of being one?

The Duties of a Lead Back Office Dental Assistant

Lead back office assistants work right alongside other assistants in the practice or clinic. Their duties and responsibilities resemble those of other back office assistants but will also take on several supervisory and administrative tasks. These can sometimes, include things like developing staff schedules, handling time-off requests; oversee certain aspects of customer service, patient suggestions, feedback, complaints, etc.

More importantly, however, lead assistants act as the bridge between dentists and other dental assistants, sharing feedback between them and improving the clinic’s overall practices.

And like the other back office dental assistants, the lead will also be expected to assist dentists during patient procedures (routine cleanings, X-rays, administering local anesthesia, etc.). Also, they may need to prepare examination rooms, ensuring that the necessary safety and sterilization was conducted, as well as informing dentists of waiting room statuses and appointment overruns.

Furthermore, lead dental assistants, are also the ones that train new arrivals on the procedures and standard operations of the clinic or office. In some cases, they are also tasked with scheduling assistants throughout the work week and provide input when reviewing office personnel performance. Lead back office assistants will be expected to report any problems or issues related to staff regarding the proper procedure, discipline, etc.

The primary responsibilities of Lead Back Office Dental Assistants consist of:

  • Assisting dentists during dental treatment procedures
  • Leading teams in the dental services of the department
  • Monitoring and prioritizing workflow of the dental assistants
  • Maintain the Office records and supplies and schedule appointments.
  • Teach the patients how to practice good oral hygiene.
  • Train the new dental assistant arrivals about standard procedures.

These duties presented here may vary depending on the individual clinic or practice and may sometimes overlap with the responsibilities of front office assistants, depending on the situation.

Lead Back Office Dental Assistant Requirements and Opportunities

Working as a back office dental assistant requires someone who has been trained and certified in the field. Dental assistant programs are available to anyone who has a high school diploma or higher. In becoming a lead dental assistant, a three to five years of practical experience in a clinical environment usually is required.

Typically, this position requires 40 hours per week of work on a $45,000 average annual salary. While not exactly an entry-level position, a Lead Back Office Dental Assistant has numerous opportunities for career development. While some decide to become Dental Office Managers or Dental Hygienists, many more prefer a transition towards a career as an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA) or Registered Expanded Function Dental Assistant (RDAEF).

Together with Dental Specialties Institute, Inc, you will be able to get the necessary training and certifications to become a Lead Back Office Dental Assistant. Contact us today for more information!